Women's rights activists yesterday expressed deep concerns and indignation over the recent incidents of violence against women, including rape and murder attempts, that have taken place in different parts of the country.
Citing a number of such incidents -- including a madrasah student who was set on fire in Feni, and the gang-rape in Noakhali, they said violence against women is on the rise, and the pattern is getting more gruesome day by day.
Ayesha Khanam, president of Bangladesh Mahila Parishad, urged the government as well as the citizens to put up a firm resistance against gender violence, particularly rape and sexual abuse. “If the culprits are not brought under trial and handed exemplary punishment quickly, the country will turn into a state of rapists,” she said.
She made the call at a press conference organised by Samajik Protirodh Committee, a platform of 66 rights and non-government organisations, at Sufia Kamal Bhaban in the capital.
Ayesha, an eminent women's rights activist, said violence against women is a crime against humanity which should be prevented immediately. Otherwise, it will continue to rise.
About the Feni incident that took place on April 6, she said it is unfortunate that women were involved in setting the madrasa girl on fire.
“The principal of the madrasa [who is the alleged mastermind of the crime] is not only an abuser; he is also a murderer,” she added.
Rokeya Kabir, executive director of Bangladesh Nari Pragati Sangha, demanded that the government immediately pass the proposed act on preventing sexual harassment at workplace and educational institutions.